I decide to navigate my way to my seat, the activity inside the aircraft, making me dizzy and nauseous. I find my place and sit down. Before I know it, I’m up on my two feet again, fiddling with my luggage that was supposed to be in the overhead bin by now. I shove it out of the way, this time resolute, I sit down again, revolted by both my co-passengers. While everything looked like it seemed to be moving, there existed a piercing silence. Apart from the blood flowing in my ear, I only hear distinct sounds, like a sharp yawn that entered my ear from the left, the sound of a guy flipping the pages of a magazine, probably coming from the seat behind me, a polite beep. I notice that everything inside the aircraft had a poetic slowness to it, the air hostess spoke softly, the people didn’t walk, they fluttered. From the window shield, I could see the scarlet dilating into the scattered blue just like our pupils did every time we saw our loved ones, turning the colour of irises wherever the two colours met to make love. I feel myself falling into a haze as I sense the aircraft take off with dizzying speed.
The familiar sensations of home should feel like biting into a cheesecake but in my case the familiar sensations of home aren’t warm and fuzzy, they’re lukewarm, they’re like coffee, with no milk, no cream, no sugar. Something that’s not very bitter but you can’t really taste, something you certainly don’t enjoy. Biology could not dictate what we felt or how we felt it, I had come to learn from some of the closest associations in my life.
It’s terrible, when you can have the physical sensations of home and still feel like you’re missing something. It’s a tragedy. Maybe it’s hiraeth. I think we all long for a home, we can’t return to, in my case it’s my antediluvian home and those stairs I grew up on, where my brother fell down and scratched his knee, where I had my first heartbreak, the ones I had clung to and wept on for hours after it happened. The shade of the mango groves, their scent diffused in the summer air that carried it in its lap… Sometimes we long to return to relationships we can’t go back to.
The stories of longing and belonging are interwoven into the fabric of my life, it’s been a life in waiting. Maybe I hated where I was heading, even more because it reminded me of my childlike dependency. Sometimes it amazes me that familiarity is not what I crave. Passion is not what I lack. Sometimes, it scares me how unfazed I could be about not belonging to a person, a place or the society. I didn’t need a place to dwell in, a daily haunt with faces I knew because I have been in rooms, been enfolded in those four walls, full of faces I knew and mouths that moved and I have felt alienated and I have wished for them to stop speaking. I would look into my neighbours’ homes and people say what we see is a reflection of who we are but I saw homes that were not broken and families that hadn’t fallen into pieces.
It was time to take a rain check, I could not turn out the blinds again and divorce myself from the world. I’ve always had a moral crisis on leaving confined spaces, enclosed spaces, enfolded spaces, I’d have a moral crisis on leaving a certain coach in a metro because I had given someone the consent to hold me in my place with their ugly stare even when I did not know what I had done to invite it, my palms would sweat but I couldn’t leave. I’d have a moral crisis on leaving an old home, the one I grew up in, specially.
Maybe it is because I haven’t been able to think beyond that box all these years. I miss the wrinkles that form at the side of my sister’s eyes every time she eye-smiles, a sign of tender old age tells me we can’t turn back time, maybe my time away will allow me to appreciate the other relations I have in my life better and maybe I could try to regain a moral conscience. If you were the moon, I’d be the tides, cautiously and consciously tip-toeing around the usage of the word love, I miss home too.
Image Source: 100 Mile House